President . . .
Spring is finally here! In my part of Wisconsin snow came early and often, and as I write this there is still a lot remaining. I am continually amazed at how deer and turkeys even survive our winters.
Positive change is happening at WBH. In order to provide the most value to our members we have continued to streamline operations. For example, historically, maintaining a large inventory of WBH branded products has been a challenge, both physically and financially. As styles and demands change, we are often left with slow or non-moving inventory that builds up at the office. On the other hand, we know and appreciate that members want to proudly wear/display WBH products and proclaim their support for WBH, and we certainly don’t want to hinder that. After considerable research, primarily by vice president Dave Peterson, we will be implementing a process that will increase efficiency in the WBH office and provide you, the members, with more merchandise options. As we move forward, products will primarily be ordered through the WBH website and will be shipped direct to you from our supplier. Also, recognizing that a great deal of our inventory is purchased at the WBH convention and broadhead shoot, we will continue to provide you with options to purchase items at these events. Watch for more details in the Fall edition of The Bowhunter magazine.
Another significant change we will be implementing has to do with the process of developing each issue of our magazine. With some upgrades and a process change, we will be able to eliminate a major time-consuming step in putting out each magazine. These changes will increase efficiency in the WBH office and allow more time to focus on providing quality services to our valued members.
All this may sound like WBH is trying to save money, and that’s true. However, that’s because we recognize that it’s really your money, paid in dues and contributions, that we need to manage as responsibly as possible, taking advantage of new technology as it develops.
Keeping our costs down and membership dues low is important. Because you have continued to support WBH, we have several thousand members situated in every county of the state. With those numbers we have a huge amount of clout with the DNR, legislators and others in power. It allows us the power to promote and protect bowhunting at many different levels.
However, if we can’t show from time to time that we can mobilize and motivate our members to support us, much of that influence is diminished.
We recently sent a letter to all members requesting your support for an issue that we have been working on for several years. Hopefully, by the time you receive this, the spring hearings will have concluded with majority support for the two questions regarding a crossbow season that restores a balance of success among weapon types. Hopefully also, that will promptly result in the implementation of those changes by the NRB and DNR. Even then, we will need to continue being vigilant because certain factions will undoubtedly be trying to change it back, or worse.
So, if you attended the spring hearing or voted on-line – Thank You. That support will strengthen WBH’s ability to preserve, promote and protect the sport of bowhunting in Wisconsin well into the future.
I am also happy to report that we have completed the sale of the Grundman property. This was a large parcel of notable hunting land in Polk Co generously donated to WBH by the Grundman family in 2001 and 2006. Over the years we have attempted to use the property as a place to get youth involved in bowhunting and hold some special hunts, but because of its remote location in the state, it has been impossible to utilize the property to its potential. Although we greatly appreciate the donation, after considerable discussion and investigating other options, we determined that selling the property at this point was in the best interest of WBH and our members. The proceeds of the sale will help strengthen our youth fund and defense fund and will fund two scholarships each year in the name of the Grundman family.
Do you belong to a local archery club or shoot regularly at archery shoots? I realize that many of us don’t have to even leave our property to practice, and that bowhunting is usually a solo game. But there can be a lot more to it. I would sincerely encourage every single member of WBH to at least consider joining a local archery club. Yes, there are dues, travel, even feeling like an outsider when you first join. But I can almost guarantee that as you get to know the folks there, you will find you have a common bond. And, at least based on my experience, you will find these folks to be some of the best people you will ever meet. I mean, come on, they’re bowhunters, who could start with a better group?
When I started bowhunting, a LONG time ago, almost all bowhunters joined or formed clubs or groups. We had to. There were no racks of bowhunting magazines or YouTube videos. We learned from each other, we competed and improved our skills, techniques and equipment. But we also became friends, hunting partners and more. It’s true that much of that need has been replaced by magazines and computers that support a multi-million-dollar industry, but none of that can replace the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that we can all share. So, if you don’t belong to a club, at least look through the pages in this issue and find some summer shoots in your area. Take them in. If you can, shoot with a club member and find out more about what they offer. And if you are so inclined - join. You won’t be disappointed.